North Antrim MLA Mervyn Storey has welcomed an agreement to move a Twelfth of July bonfire from nearby houses in Dervock. And the DUP representative has said that the decision which followed a meeting of a number of agencies is a credit to all those involved.
The move in Dervock could set the tone for bonfires in other parts of North Antrim some of which have caused controversy and in one case led to legal action.
The bonfire at Dervock is one of the largest in the area but has caused concern because of its close proximity to houses with some residents fearful of their property catching fire. However, following a meeting between officers from the AIMS project, the PSNI, Housing Executive, council and the youth of the village, a new approach has been agreed, according the Dervock and District History group.
A post on their Facebook page read: “The outcome has brought an agreement from all parties present with the officers from the AIMS project placing their trust in the new arrangement in the hands of the youth of Dervock and they are confident that the situation arising from past issues has now been resolved. All parties took on board the views and safety concerns of the local residents and through negations have agreed that bonfire should and will be moved to a more safe location.”
The move in Dervock reflects the renewed effort being put in by the community into giving the village a positive image. A trade fair in the new Community Centre showcased much of what the area has to offer and there’s optimism that the Fairs of the recent past can be replicated in the near future.
Mr Storey has also praised the young people of Dervock, he said: “It is a credit to all involved, particularly the young people of the village that this issue has been successfully resolved. The 11th night bonfires are to many an important element of celebrating our heritage and history. I have no doubt that the lead given by Dervock can be followed by others.“